Depleted India can pose tough challenge: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook said India are historically strong at home Getty Images

Hyderabad: Oct 5, 2011

England’s ODI captain Alastair Cook said even a depleted India would be quite a handful in the upcoming series as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men would be playing on home turf even though his own side will have no problem in adapting to the conditions.

England whitewashed an injury-hit India 4-0 in Tests and beat them 3-0 in a five-match ODI series when Dhoni and his men came visiting in July earlier. But Cook said the dominance in that series counts for little in the five-match series starting October 14 here.

“I don’t read too much into the favourites tag. It is going to be a very different challenge, I don’t see any relation between what happened in England and what is going to happen here. India is historically strong at home,” he told reporters, a day after his team’s arrival for the series.

Once again India wear a depleted look with the missing list including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma due to injuries sustained on the tour of England.

Asked if the lack of experience of bowlers in the Indian team would work to England’s advantage, Cook stressed that despite lack of international exposure, they would still be quite a force because of their grasp over local conditions.

“They might be inexperienced in international games, but they are experienced in local conditions which is an important thing. Obviously it is going to be a tough challenge,” he said.

Replying to a query, Cook said pitches in the sub-continent do spin and that his team is expecting slow wickets.

“We managed to cope with the weather conditions where we played, I don’t think that is a hindrance to us,” he said.

On how much a factor dew would be during the series, he said, “It is going to be same for both sides. I am not too sure exactly how much dew will be there at each venue. We will have to cross the bridge when we get there.”

Asked about the new ICC rule changes, under which runners have been banned, Cook said he is not too sure about how it will affect the game.

“The team that adapts quickly to the changes will have an advantage,” he said.

Asked about the Decision Review System, Cook said his team “enjoyed the system as it can get more decision right with the help of technology.” (PTI)